DS VIRGIN RACING MOVE INTO PODIUM POSITION IN OVERALL FORMULA E CHAMPIONSHIP IN BERLIN
DS Virgin Racing are now in third place in the overall Formula E Championship standings after a strong drive from Jean-Eric Vergne was enough to push the team one spot further up the leaderboard. Vergne’s performance also saw DS Virgin Racing secure their fourth Pole Position of the season, surpassing any other team.
“We have two very talented drivers and now it’s looking like we have a fast car, we now have more pole positions than any other team and we have just knocked Dragon Racing off third spot in the championship” – Alex Tai, DS Virgin Racing Team Principal.
“When you start in Pole Position you want to win the race and today was no exception but Buemi is extremely quick. I knew when he overtook me for the second time that he was gone and I wouldn’t be able to catch him,” explains Vergne. “I also think the other drivers that overtook me were also quick. We did great to get Pole Position and I think it goes to show just what a good job the team have done to improve the car but I also know I couldn’t have done better than 5th place today. I still gained valuable points for the team which has moved us to third in the championship and I’m really pleased with that. It’s what the team deserves.”
Meanwhile, Bird, who was challenging Daniel Abt for third position, was less fortunate after a collision with Abt damaged his front end plate early on in the race. In a decision that been perceived as overly cautious, the Race Director requested that he make a stop to replace the nose. Unhappy with the request Bird engineers tried to challenge the decision but they were unsuccessful.
As Bird came in to pit it became clear that his hopes of remaining a championship contender were coming to an end as he dropped from P4 to P14. “I’m really disappointed with this decision,” says Bird. “I didn’t expect a black flag for such minimal damage, as I said on the radio I don’t believe the front end plate was that lose and that decision means it’s now extremely difficult for me to contend for the driver’s championship.”
In the pit, the nose change went smoothly and was extremely quick but Bird was already down 10 places on his position and was unable to make it back into the top 10, finishing P11. Disappointing for the driver who, had today produced a better result, might have considered himself a quiet contender for the championship title. “I’m really pleased for the team. We’ve wanted to challenge Dragon Racing in the championship for a long time and although today was a disappointment for me, it was a triumph for the team. I will now be focusing on London which will no doubt be an epic finale to the season.”
Team Principal Alex Tai added, “I am extremely proud of both drivers. The decision was an unfortunate one for Sam, who would have no doubt had a fantastic drive had the damage not occurred, however he still showcased his talent by moving up from P14 to P11. Jev excelled during Superpole which proves that we are moving in the right direction. We have two very talented drivers and now it’s looking like we have a fast car, we now have more pole positions than any other team and we have just knocked Dragon Racing off third spot in the championship. London is going to be a big one for us but the team and the drivers are improving with every race and I look forward to what lies ahead. We’re in a good place.”
Head of DS Performance Xavier Mestelan Pinon was also proud of the team’s performance. “It’s becoming clear that we have made major improvements on the car, I am pleased that both drivers have now managed to achieve a pole position with the DSV-01. We are still facing certain challenges that our team are working on but for now I would just like to congratulate the team on their hard work, which as we have seen today, has paid off.”
The London ePrix and season finale will take place on the 2nd and 3rd of July in Battersea Park with a double race weekend to end the season.